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MarkMonitor – Cyber Criminals Use More Recession-based Phishing Scams

Cyber criminals such as spammers and phishers have modified their malicious campaigns to suit the global economic crisis. They are using the current topics like unemployment and refinancing in attempts to capitalize on the vulnerable situations, states MarkMonitor the brand protection company, which recently conducted a related survey.

The research examined four major financial brands and noted that opportunistic scammers are fast in attacking netizens seeking methods to face the challenges of financial and housing constraints.

Moreover, it is learnt that MarkMonitor while computing its Brandjacking Index, sorted through records of as many as 134 Million public domains, innumerable web pages, and a huge number of spam mails in order to search for instances of fraud. They paid close attention to terms like mortgage, foreclosure, unemployment and refinance.

Subsequently, the company found a large number of cases of questionable domain squatting and phishing. It detected over 7,300 cyber-squatted domains, of which 16% were set up post September 2008.

MarkMonitor also reports that phishing attacks on the whole increased 36% during Q1 2009 from the same quarter of 2008. These figures are based on a sample group of reputed banks utilized in the Brandjacking Index report for January-April 2009.

Further, phishing attacks targeted over 500 organizations globally during Q1 2009, with a 14% increase from Q4 2008.

Frederick Felman, Chief Marketing Officer of MarkMonitor, states that scammers are taking advantage of consumer hardships through their malicious campaigns that show incredible imagination in combining social engineering tactics, current events and scamming technology, as reported by The Register on June 29, 2009.

Additional discoveries by MarkMonitor reveal that USA continues to host the maximum number of phishing scams. Its prominence of being the top phishing country rose with its demonstration of increased phishing attacks from 36% in 2008 to 46% in 2009 worldwide.

Other countries to follow are Canada, hosting 4.7% of worldwide phishing attacks, Russia (4.5%), Denmark (4%) and France (4%).

Interestingly, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S consumer watchdog, is preparing to initiate a campaign for busting recession-themed scams, as numerous Americans are getting scammed with them everyday.

» SPAMfighter News - 15-07-2009

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